In the case study provided client Abby blames herself for her husband’s lymphoma diagnosis. She refuses to take her husband to medical appointments because she fears it will send her over the edge. Abby cries, drinks 2-3 times per week with 1-2 drinks per occasion, eat and sleep very little to cope with her husband’s illness. She also admits to never having an appropriate method of coping with stressors. Prior to this stressor Abby has always felt unhappy, hopeless and had a low self-esteem.
Abby only has a strong relationship with her mother and rarely communicates with her five siblings. The best approach to utilize in the case of Abby is Adlerian created by Alfred Adler. The approach focuses on the unity of the person and on understanding the individual’s subjective perspective. By obtaining a small amount of data about the patient’s present life situation and her family origin, the counseling professional can gain a basis for understanding how the patient developed her unique way of acting and reacting to the physical and social stresses of life (Townes, 1976).
The client-therapist relationship is based on mutual respect, and both client and counselor are active. I chose the Alderian approach because it has shown promise in treating conduct disorders, antisocial disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and some affective disorders (Seligman, 1986). The most common therapeutic techniques of Adlerian therapy include investigating the client’s lifestyle, or basic orientation toward life. This is done systematically by exploring “three entrance gates to mental life. The first of these is birth order, or one’s position within the family and the resulting expectations and roles that typically result from it. The second is early recollections that encapsulate one’s present philosophy of life. And third entrance is dreams, which, in Adler’s view, serve to rehearse how one might deal with problems in the future (Parrott, 2003). I would begin the counseling process by informing Abby of her rights, the expectations of counseling, confidential and the limitation and the possible isk of counseling as stated in the American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethic (2005) Standard A. 2. a, A. 2. b, and B. 1. A number of ethical issues may arise during the counseling process if the counselor professional does not follow the ethical code such as the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics (2005). The strengths of using this approach with Abby are that the approach is brief, addresses social equality issues, and focus on social context.
The limitations of this approach are some of the basic concepts are vague; it oversimplifies complex human functioning, and based too heavily on a commonsense perspective. Abby suffers from an anxiety disorder, which was triggered by her husband’s cancer diagnosis. Abby’s sense of belonging is not being fulfilled resulting in the onset of anxiety. The Alderian approach will aid Abby by helping her develop a sense of belonging and assist in the adoption of behaviors and processes characterized by community feeling and social interest.